Monday, February 11, 2008
This is a disaster story with a happy ending!!! I hate letting things beat me – if something doesn’t turn out right I have to make it again until it does. That is what happened with this pistachio Russian fudge that I made for birthday gifts for three of my work colleagues.
I don’t make Russian fudge all that often, but the picture in the recipe book (Laurie Black’s book “New Home Cooking”) looked so appealing with the waxy green studded fudge. The recipe is a variation of that in the Edmonds book, using cream instead of milk and a bit more golden syrup. The most important part of making fudge is to make sure that the sugar is dissolved properly. Unfortunately, this is the step that I completely mucked up! My sugar got too hot too quickly and went quite grainy. I think that I had it in a pot that was too big – too much surface area for the sugar. And, unfortunately once the sugar gets that hot and goes grainy, there’s no going back! The fudge had a horrible sugary texture, even though the flavour was yummy. I asked my husband what he thought and he thought it was ok, but I remembered all those times you buy a bag of home made fudge only to be put off because it is so sugary! I only want to give away my successes, not the disasters!
So, not to be deterred, I made some more fudge the next night. I used a smaller pot and really took my time, stirring the sugar for nearly half an hour. This time the fudge turned out creamy and delicious and I was happy to give it away. I must also confess that I re-used the pistachios from the first batch!!!! I put the awful fudge in a bowl of hot water, dissolving all the sugar, picked out the pistachios, dried them off and added them to the new fudge. As they were still whole, they seemed to be no worse off for their ordeal!
Pistachio Russian Fudge
3 c sugar
½ c cream
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g condensed milk
¾ c shelled pistachio nuts
· Stir sugar and cream together until sugar has dissolved – this may take a while
· Add syrup, condensed milk and butter and boil until soft ball stage (116 on candy thermometer)
· Take off heat and cool slightly; beat with a wooden spoon and then stir in pistachio nuts
· Pour into 18x28cm lined tin and leave to set
Cut into pieces and store in an air tight container